I read what I thought to be one of the saddest blog posts from a young mother of four a few days ago. It was written in a Voskamp-esque fashion in which she described this intense romantic love affair with a city. Yes, a city. She described all the things this city had taught her...how "he" (the city) had loved her well..inspired her... gave her peace..and understanding as to who she was... most importantly, "how to live in the NOW." This, from a woman whose "living in the now" philosophy ended her with a divorce. My heart grieves still.
Oh, how I cringe at that phrase. I want to scream from the rooftops:
Oh believing women of faith, STOP LIVING IN THE NOW!!!!
Stop examining bubbles and butterflies and taking pictures and posting and blogging and tweeting and texting and everything else we do to worship our "now".. our "immediate moment." Live for the Not Yet.
I know it's hard. I know we come wired to "feel". We are emotional. We are fueled by deeply relating to one another. We long to nurture and care. I am the FIRST to admit, when not in check, I am an emotional roller coaster. Emotions and passions are good qualities that can catapult us bravely into the Lord's work, but they can also be paralyzing. Living in the Now and responding to immediate feelings that are driving our NOW can destroy our future. They lead us astray. There is little hope in the Now. Have you ever thought about that? The Now is of this earth. The Now is decaying. Anything that is beautiful and precious in our immediate Now, is only because it is a glimpse of the Not Yet. Everything that is filled with beauty on this earth is but a dim, faded, eroded image, or emotion of that to come.
As C.S. Lewis so perfectly pens in The Great Divorce: "When you painted on earth- at least in your earlier days- it was because you caught glimpses of Heaven in the earthly landscape. The success of your painting was that it enabled others to see the glimpses too."
Living in the Now only grants me my current feelings and circumstances in which to hope. THAT in itself is hopeless enough. Living for the Not Yet propels me to draw from a another well... a deeper well.. one that NEVER runs dry. I drink. I am supernaturally satisfied. Nothing of this world can satiate quite like placing complete trust in Christ... and nothing of this world can remove it. Here is the joy of living for the Not Yet.
I was awakened yesterday morning to Psalm 130 being recited in my mind. Yes, recited. The words were audibly heard and I was grateful for the Spirit giving me this word from the Lord.
Out of the depths I have cried to You, O Lord;
Lord, hear my voice! Let your ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications....
I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in His word I do hope. My soul waits for the Lord
more than those who watch from the morning---yes, more than those who watch for the morning.
O, Israel, hope in the Lord; for with the Lord there is mercy, and with Him is abundant redemption.
I don't know where you find yourself today. Are you living in your Now? Hope in the Lord. Wait for the Lord. It's hard isn't it?--the waiting. Hosea 6:3 states:
Let us acknowledge the LORD; let us press on to acknowledge him. As surely as the sun rises, he will appear; he will come to us like the winter rains, like the spring rains that water the earth.”
"As surely as the run rises, he will appear." THIS is why we wait for the Lord as those who watch for the morning. Another translation says.. "as watchmen for the morning." We stand on our wall, on guard.. waiting and looking NOT down at our feet and fearing- not distracted by our feelings of being exhausted or how we feel emotionally.. or how cold or hungry we are... NO! We look out--to the horizon--waiting for the the DAWN! Because unless the Lord returns, we can be assured that the sun is rising. It rises EVERYDAY. Completely reliable. So it is with our great and awesome God! We look out from our wall of darkness towards the HOPE that WILL appear. Because He is coming. The sun is rising. The dawn is almost here. We need not question. He will appear and He will rain on us and water us.... soon! but Now...we need to start living for more than this minute. We need begin living beyond our own strength. We need to begin living for the Not Yet!